Fire And Explosion Accidents Caused By Gas Pipelines
Our Fire and Explosion Attorneys at Goeing, Goeing & McQuinn PLLC understand that consumers of natural gas and propane generally presume that gas lines will be properly designed, installed and maintained by the gas company. Despite this reasonable expectation, gas lines can rupture because they are not properly constructed or repaired which may cause a devastating explosion or fire. Because burn injuries caused by a fiery gas explosion can cause permanent disfigurement, permanent disability and even fatalities, it is important that gas lines are adequately monitored for corrosion and other problems to avoid the potential fatal impact of a gas explosion in residential or commercial areas.
When faulty gas pipelines cause fires and explosions, they not only threaten the lives and safety of those in the structure but may endanger anyone in the surrounding neighborhoods. Exploding gas pipelines can cause burn injuries such as permanent disfigurement, loss of limbs, excruciating pain, scaring and wrongful death. The physical treatment for burns can be extremely painful and involve long rehabilitative regimes consisting of multiple surgical procedures and skin grafts.
The process of determining fault when a gas pipeline leaks or ruptures can be complicated because multiple parties may be responsible for the accident. Whether the company that constructs, operates and maintains the pipeline is Kentucky Frontier Gas, Columbia Gas of Kentucky, LG&E, KU, or any other gas company, the utility has an obligation to comply with safety regulations. Gas companies generally are expected to ensure that gas pipelines and valves are safe. The utility companies also should routinely monitor gas pipelines to ensure that safe conditions maintained. The utility company is required to regularly inspect, monitor and repair such pipelines.
Many gas pipelines were installed well over a half a century ago so they may suffer from age-related corrosion. The Federal Emergency Regulatory Commission (FERC) rules impose a duty on gas companies in Kentucky and other states to perform ongoing inspections of transmission lines. These inspections involve the use of a mechanical robotic device (referred to as a "pig" or a "smart pig") which is sent through the pipeline. The robot transports equipment that can identify defective sections as well as gas leaks. Gas companies are required to prepare reports that document these inspections along with their findings and supply those findings to the federal agency.
Our fire and xplosion attorneys use industry experts to inspect the site of a gas explosion while also carefully examining internal gas company safety and inspection records as well as those provided to public agencies. We recognize the devastating consequences of these avoidable accidents and work diligently to obtain the financial compensation that our clients need to move past their injuries and rebuild their lives. We encourage you to schedule a FREE consultation and contact us or visit our website at www.kylawpractice.com. We look forward to hearing from you and assisting you with your legal needs!